How to Care for Your Breasts After a Breast Augmentation
Congratulations on your breast augmentation surgery! Having the procedure is only the first step towards achieving the fuller breasts you desire. Following your breast augmentation, your breasts are still fragile and must be cared for appropriately as your body heals and your new breast implants settle into their proper shape and position. It is essential that you follow the post-operative care guidelines set up by your surgeon, and to schedule and attend all of your follow-up visits. There is also long term care that will help extend the life of your implants.
Immediately After Your Breast Augmentation Surgery
Recovery time is highly dependent on the patient and how their body responds to breast augmentation surgery. The initial recovery period after a breast augmentation is 24 to 48 hours, with an additional reduced activity period for a few weeks. You may return to work after a few days if you feel up to it, as long as the job is non-active (i.e. sitting at a desk). However, you should only raise your arm to shoulder level for the first two weeks to make sure any wounds do not pull open, and you should also avoid lifting objects (or children) heavier than 5 lb during the first two weeks. You will need to avoid any vigorous activity, such as running or jumping, as that will make your breasts bounce and possibly open your wounds or dislodge the implants. Soreness and swelling can be expected for a few weeks. Exercise and normal activity can resume typically 6 to 8 weeks after your breast augmentation surgery.
Immediately following your breast augmentation surgery, you will be able to eat any food you normally eat; however, it is advised to only drink alcoholic beverages once you have stopped taking any pain medication. You will be able to shower, but it is important to avoid getting your wounds wet. You will be able to take a bath about two weeks after your surgery. After the procedure, you will wear a support bra and compression bands 24 hours a day for the first week or two, and will need to clean and apply ointment to the incision sites as directed. You should not wear an underwire bra for 3 months. It is recommended to sleep on your back for the first six weeks after your surgery to prevent deformation of the implant, as the scar capsule is forming around the implant during that time. Sleeping on one’s stomach may also lead to a drooping appearance of the breasts.
Extended Care for Your Breasts
Extended care for your breasts includes providing them with good support. It is important to choose a good bra that will help support the additional weight of your breasts now that the implants have been added. This is especially important as the extra weight may affect the shape of the breasts and the looseness of the skin. Fortunately, there are many fashionable bras that provide excellent support, and now that you have much fuller breasts, this may be the most exciting part of the post-recovery period. For patients who are very active, it is especially important to purchase a quality sports bra to support the breasts during high impact aerobic workouts. These activities may stress the breast tissues, and though a sports bra may feel tight at first, one will grow to appreciate the extra support and security.
One month after surgery, I recommend my patients massage their breasts to prevent scar tissue from forming around the implant. Breast massage can help the breasts soften post-operatively. I recommend continued daily massage, which can even be done in the shower, by moving your breast implant around in the surgical pocket and pushing it up and down, and side to side as far as possible in the pocket. This will ensure they continue to move naturally like your own breast tissues.
If you have any questions about breast augmentation, or how to care for your breasts after surgery, feel free to contact me on my website or email me directly at DrAzad@KamranAzadMD.com.